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Caribou Lichen


Caribou Lichen - Cladonia rangiferina Traditionally used in the North as a starvation food and in making alcohol, reindeer moss has seen a surge in the culinary world. Preparing lichen is fairly simple, place pieces of lichen in a brine or salt water bath flavoured to your liking, some people will add sodium bicarbonate to help relax the flavours and structure of the lichen, that is optional. Cover and let sit in hot brine for a few hours or overnight, the longer it sits the softer and less acidic the lichen becomes. you can achieve similar results by boiling and changing the water twice. Remove from brine and pat the lichen dry, you are ready to get cooking. (This process is important in removing acids that can cause an upset stomach).   Try deep frying it for a crunchy forest flavoured garnish or dip in simple syrup, maple syrup or honey and then roast at 230 for 45 minutes for a sweet crispy treat. Other preparations include grinding into a powder and boiling to create something you could lichen to porridge or used as a thickener in soups and stews.